The Value of Membership

"I could not have survived 30 years in school business without the support I've received from ASBO. No matter how much you may think your problem is unique, it's not. I've always found support from colleagues facing the same issues no matter where they work, and I've shared solutions. We have a lot to learn from one another, so I value my memberships in Tri-State ASBO, New Hampshire ASBO, Vermont ASBO, and ASBO International."
—John Aubin, South Burlington School District, South Burlington, Vermont
Member since 1992

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Review Process

After your Meritorious Budget Award (MBA) or Pathway to the MBA application is received, the review process takes approximately 3–6 months to complete.


Who Reviews My Submission?

Your application materials are reviewed by financial professionals who have received additional MBA criteria-specific training from ASBO International. As part of the review, comments are provided to be used in preparation of subsequent budget submissions. The same review team does not review your submission each year; subsequent years’ documents are sent to different reviewers.

Award Categories

Awarded – The MBA or Pathway to the MBA is awarded when the review team concurs the budget documentation has met or exceeded the MBA criteria.

Conditionally Awarded – Only school systems that applied for the MBA or Pathway to the MBA the previous year may receive a conditional award. A conditional award is given when the review team notes that a number of the previous year’s review comments were not answered, the submission was not as strong as the previous year’s, or there was sufficient deviation from the MBA criteria. Conditional award status is noted internally only—the district’s name is included in the final award lists posted on our website and in press releases.

Denied – Your school system may be denied if many of the required MBA criteria have not been met, the financial data presented are not accurate, or there is conflicting financial data. Complying with the review team’s comments from the previous year is essential to be considered for the award the following year.

If a district does not receive the award, we will waive the MBA or the Pathway to the MBA application fee for the next year.

Award Packets

All final MBA and Pathway to the MBA award packets are emailed to the submitting official.

An awarded or conditionally awarded district receives:

  • Comprehensive comments about your budget
  • An award certificate
  • A letter of accomplishment
  • A prestigious perpetual plaque (MBA only)
  • An elegant crystal award (Pathway to the MBA only)
  • A press release to share with the community
A district not awarded receives:
  • Comprehensive comments about your budget
  • A letter of accomplishment

Appeals Process

Only school districts that are denied an MBA award may request an appeal. There is no appeals process for the Pathway to the MBA.
A submitting official must submit a request for an appeal in writing within 30 days of receiving the denial packet.
The appeal is reviewed by the MBA Appeals Committee, comprised of three members of the MBA Advisory Committee. The original review team does not participate in the appeals process. The MBA Appeals Committee has 60 days to review the documentation and write its final decision. The decision of the MBA Appeals Committee is final.
After receiving a school district’s request for appeal

  • A response letter is sent to the district outlining the appeals process.
  • The district’s budget document and supporting documentation as well as the original review team’s final comments are forwarded to the MBA Appeals Committee.
  • The MBA Appeals Committee reviews the documentation and writes its response.
  • The committee’s decision letter is sent to the school district.